PRINT and DIGITAL MEDIA ASSOCIATION (PADMA)
Copyright infringement not intended
- The Union government has approved the Print and Digital Media Association (PADMA) as a self-regulatory body for publishers of news and current affairs across the country.
- 47 digital news publishers will be the board members of the organization,
- It will look at grievances related to digital media news content.
- The Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting stated that the PADMA has been registered as a self-regulatory body.
- The organization will be headed by former High Court Judge Mool Chand Garg and have part-time members of Prasar Bharati Ashok Kumar Tandon and journalist Manoj Kumar Mishra as members.
- Since May 2021, the Ministry has approved nine self-regulatory bodies (latest PADMA) under rule 12 of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.
- Rule 12 of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, states that self-regulatory bodies will “oversee and ensure compliance by the publisher to the code of ethics; provide guidance to publishers on aspects of the code of ethics; address grievances which publishers have not resolved within 15 days; hear appeals filed by the complainant against the decision of publishers; issue such guidance or advisories to such publishers… for ensuring compliance to the code of ethics”.
About Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021
- The Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, was notified by the Central government on February 25, 2021, relates to digital news publishers, including websites, portals and YouTube news channels, and Over The Top (OTT) platforms, which stream online contents such as web series and films.
- It is jointly administered by the Ministry of Electronics and IT, and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
- The Rules provide for a code of ethics to be followed by digital news publishers and OTT platforms; A three-tier grievance redress mechanism, which includes:
- Self-regulation by publishers at the first level
- Self-regulation by Self-regulating bodies of the publishers
- An oversight mechanism by the Central government
Key Features of the Rules
- Social media intermediaries, with registered users in India above a notified threshold, have been classified as significant social media intermediaries.
- They are required to appoint certain personnel for compliance, identification of the first originator of the information on its platform, and identify certain types of content.
- They need to appoint a Nodal Contact Person for 24x7 coordination with law enforcement agencies. Such a person shall be a resident of India.
- Appoint a Resident Grievance Officer who shall perform the functions mentioned under the Grievance Redressal Mechanism. Such a person shall be a resident of India.
- Publish a monthly compliance report mentioning the details of complaints received and action taken on the complaints.
- The Rules prescribe a framework for the regulation of content by online publishers of news and current affairs content and audio-visual content.
- A 3-tier Grievance Redressal Mechanism: Social media intermediaries shall appoint a Grievance Officer to deal with complaints and share the name and contact details of such officers.
- The grievance officer shall acknowledge the complaint within twenty-four hours and resolve it within 15 days from its receipt.
- Ensuring Online Safety and Dignity of Users, Especially Women Users: Intermediaries shall remove or disable access within 24 hours of receipt of complaints of contents that expose the privacy of individuals.
- Such a complaint can be filed either by the individual or by any other person on his/her behalf.
- Voluntary User Verification Mechanism: Users who wish to verify their accounts voluntarily shall be provided with an appropriate mechanism to verify their accounts and provided with a demonstrable and visible mark of verification.
- Giving Users An Opportunity to Be Heard: Users must be provided with an adequate and reasonable opportunity to dispute the action taken by the intermediary.
- Removal of Unlawful Information: An intermediary upon receiving actual knowledge should not host or publish any information which is prohibited under any law concerning the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India, public order, friendly relations with foreign countries etc.
- This Code of Ethics prescribes the guidelines to be followed by OTT platforms and online news and digital media entities.
- Self-Classification of Content: The OTT platforms would be required to self-classify the content into five age-based categories; U (Universal), U/A 7+, U/A 13+, U/A 16+, and A (Adult).